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Author Topic: placing a new weak nuc in the location of moderate sized hive?  (Read 1660 times)

Offline windfall

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What would happen if I were to make a new, weak nuc; say 1 deep frame of mixed age brood, 1 frame of stores (possibly some more brood), and a new queen in a cage and then place that into the location of a moderate sized hive that gets moved to a new location in the same yard?

Will the influx of returning field bees boost and carry the nuc, or will it just overwhelm it with chaos and fighting when they come home and find a bunch of strangers there?

I have a long hive that has 2 colonies in it.  One was meant to be a temp split last summer in the "back end"....well it never got moved, grew explosively this spring and now even after a split, and throwing a swarm it is still bigger than I really want in there. The whole thing has gotten silly with both ends of the hive supered up to make room for both these colonies. Additionally the colony in the "back end" was getting a bit aggressive (that may change with the new queen), and that entrance faces the house deck which is quite close. Things need to change, So that colony is getting moved into standard gear.

I plan to pull 1-2 nucs out of the larger side of the hive (front end) this coming week. I was just going to move the back end out right after, pull the followers and let the returning foragers boost the donor hive back up.

But now I am thinking about making one nuc quite weak and moving it into the back end. Let the returnees boost it instead. It would let me reduce down the whole deal to 1 story again, not weaken the donor hive so much, and provide me with a nice place for the nuc that is well above the snow come winter. Yes, I may just be starting the whole thing over again come spring, but hopefully i will have learned a few things by then and not let the nuc grow so large as to be a problem. Last year I let it reach out to 10-12 frames by fall.

One concern I have, beyond that mentioned at the top, is that the hive I want to move out is just getting their brood nest going again...started seeing eggs last week, all the old brood hatched out well before. Wondering if moving it now could make problems for them as most/all of the bees are "field bees" and oriented to the old location. But perhaps that should be a separate thread/question.

Offline AllenF

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Re: placing a new weak nuc in the location of moderate sized hive?
« Reply #1 on: June 24, 2012, 10:49:50 PM »
Returning workers will be welcomed into the nuc and boost it's population.   

Offline Finski

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Re: placing a new weak nuc in the location of moderate sized hive?
« Reply #2 on: June 25, 2012, 02:20:20 AM »
What would happen if I were to make a new, weak nuc; say 1 deep frame of mixed age brood,

3 frame nuc is minimum.
- One food frame honey + pollen
- a frame of emerging brood. NOT different age.
- empty comb or foundation frame

Put the nuc over the big hive that it gets heat from downstairs.
Close all holes that no bees can come out or go in.
after 3 days move it to it ordinary place. Old bees return to home and emerged bees stay in.

Make a box where you have a movealble wall to restrict the space to 3 frame.
When 3 frames are full, add again one frame of emerging brood. Shake bees off.

DON*T FEED THE NUC. it invites robbers.
Language barrier NOT included

Offline Jim 134

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Re: placing a new weak nuc in the location of moderate sized hive?
« Reply #3 on: June 25, 2012, 07:39:44 AM »
 I do hope this help you out in making Nucs & Splits   

                                            Notes for Making Nucs & Splits

Nucs and splits are the same thing,but generally terms used to describe their purpose. Splits are made to increase your colonies from your bees. Nucs are purchased from someone else and they make them to sell at a profit.

Nucs and splits are simply small hives containing a Queen, several frames of brood, and a frame or two of honey and pollen. They are started as 3 to 5 frames. The following steps will insure a successful start to a new hive.

Nucs can be started at any time in late spring, summer and early fall. Late season Nucs require additional brood and food to build strong populations before winter. Successful Nucs in New England are best when started in May and June.
Donor Colony-Pick a strong, healthy colony headed by an overwintered Queen. Should have 6-8 brood frames including open brood with eggs and larvae. A strong 5 frame Nuc needs 3 frames of brood plus two with honey and pollen.

Steps for making a Nuc

1) Setup Equipment. Any size box will work. When using a ten-frame hive use a follower board to create a false wall for the frames

2) Select the frames. 1 frames. 1 frames of capped brood,1 frame open brood with eggs and larvae, and 1 frame of honey and pollen. Extra brood frames can be added to make it a 5-frame Nuc.

3)  Introduce a mated within 24 hours After 24 hours the bees may start Queen cells. A mated Queen will not kill developing Queens and may be killed by an emerging Queen.
               . Do not let Nuc raise its own Queen. This does not normally result in a quality
                 Queen. Often they are from old larvae and become intercaste Queens
                 (part worker & part Queen).   

4) The 3 mile rule says that the Nuc must be moved to avoid bees returning to the old hive.This is not necessary if you pull brood frames with the adhering young worker bees. Screen the entrance for 24 hours allowing the new Queens pheromones to be distributed and the bees will know they are in a new location and reorient themselves to the Nuc location.                             

5) Feed syrup & a pollen patty. The Nuc will be populated by young house bees and emerging brood.It will lack the older foraging bees making feeding a necessity for the first month.                                 
             . An extra advantage making Nucs is that it that it interrupts the brood cycle as the new
               Queen begins laying and that reduces mite loads.
 Nucs can be used for many purposes;to increase colonies, to sell bees,for mating Nucs, for holding
 reserve Queens, and proving Queens before introducing to a honey producing colonies.

Common mistakes that cause Nucs to fail:

            .   Split too early before temperatures are consistently warm 50-70F.
            .   Start with too little brood and bees. Chilled brood,or neglected  brood
                due to low worker population.
            .   Queen is not accepted or Nuc is allowed to raise their own.
            .   Become overcrowded and swarms before additional frames are added

                 BEE HAPPY Jim 134 :)

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Offline deknow

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Re: placing a new weak nuc in the location of moderate sized hive?
« Reply #4 on: June 25, 2012, 08:29:59 AM »
Jim, I don't agree with much of that at all.  I never.screen in the bees for.24.hours, I will either give.the new.nuc .enough food.or enough workforce (sometimes.doing what the OP asked.about....putting the nuc in the location of a stronger colony.  Letting them.raise their.own queen has a.time.penalty ....no new bees.for.6.weeks...but the quality of the queen is generally fine if there are enough bees and resources.


Offline windfall

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Re: placing a new weak nuc in the location of moderate sized hive?
« Reply #5 on: June 25, 2012, 09:08:56 AM »
Thanks for the replies folks,

I have read up pretty extensively on making nucs. Primarily I was going to follow the system worked out by Michael Palmer up here in VT, although I have decided not to bust up a sacrificial colony completely as he usually does. Instead I was going to steal frames from 2-3 hives, shake off all the bees, and then place them into an empty box on top of a strong donor hive with an excluder below for overnight and let them get repopulated (without a queen hiding on a frame) and with far fewer field bees. Then move those frames into nucs, give them overnight again (now queenless) and put the new caged queens in the next day....

The heart of my question was could I cheat the system a bit by making one nuc weaker than he normally does and instead place them into the location of a hive I want moved out anyway. I know folks do this all the time with hives that are up and running, I just wasn't sure if it would be prudent in this scenario as the nuc is just made up. Since nobody raised that as an issue I will take it that it isn't one....